Joshua A. McClure is one of our most prolific writers. As of this month, he has published six books (four with us), and he has two more in the works. It’s hard to believe that seventeen years ago, he had no plans to write a book. But when God spoke to him—and others pushed him to write down what was being said—he found himself on the way to being an author.

Called to Ministry—and Now to Writing

Author on the Rise: Joshua A. McClure | Deep River BooksThis isn’t the first time God called McClure to something he had no plans to do. In December 1976, God gave McClure a vision of ministry—a literal vision of a crowd, reaching out for help and understanding. At the time, McClure was a successful businessman in his mid-forties. Two years before, he’d become the national president of the American Institute of Kitchen Dealers (now the National Kitchen & Bath Association). But after that vision, he went back to school, got his BA in biblical studies, and went on to become a pastor. He wouldn’t add writing to his list of careers until three decades later.

“I really started in late 2000, believe it or not,” McClure says of his writing. “I had been a Christian for a while. Around 2000, I really started a more serious relationship [with God]. I would wake up at four in the morning and hear the Lord speak about things. [This] went on for almost a year. Then I started telling people, and they would ask, ‘Are you writing this down?’”

Finally, one of the people he told—a woman from Massachusetts—said, “Josh, are you writing a book?”

So he put legal pads next to his bed, and his first book, Can These Bones Live?, was born. It would be published in December 2006. After that, he kept writing as God called him, releasing a new book every few years—and now picking up his pace to release two in the space of a single year.

“Every book I have ever written has come at three or four in the morning,” McClure explains. “I don’t write until I hear from the Lord. When I get a few pages [of notes], I put it on the computer and start writing chapters. If you gave me a million dollars to write a book, I would say, ‘keep it.’ I wouldn’t even know where to begin. . . . I don’t really consider myself a writer—I consider myself a recorder.”

On Broken Pieces

McClure may consider himself only a recorder, but God clearly uses his experience and passion to direct each book’s topic. McClure is passionate about helping and giving to those who are in need or hurting—and about helping people understand their faith. Both these passions shine through in his newest book, On Broken Pieces.

“This is a very, very special book,” McClure says. “I’ve been ministering in senior homes and with homeless people for years.” Because of this—and his personal experience as an aging retired pastor—he has a certain insight into the hearts of those On Broken Pieces is dedicated to: “the lonely, aged, sick, infirmed, and housebound.”

But, as is often the case with McClure’s ministries, he didn’t come up with the idea on his own. “My book editor, my local editor here in Westerly . . . asked me what I’m writing, and I said I wasn’t really writing. A couple months later, I got an email. He’d woken up at three or four in the morning, saying the time was right to write to a specific audience.” McClure quotes this email in On Broken Pieces’s introduction:

The books you’ve done thus far have had a more-or-less general audience of believers, religious educators, and pastors. But I couldn’t help feeling that with your seniority as a pastor and as a human being there is a more specialized audience you may have a real mission to address . . . the older crowd, those folks in their last one to twenty years of life.

Still, McClure wasn’t ready to act on his editor’s suggestion—yet. “Six months later, God woke me up,” he says. He expands on this:

On Broken Pieces | Deep River Books

God must have decided enough was enough; he captured my attention in a most familiar way with a 3 a.m. call of the Spirit. I woke with a thought of the very people Dave had mentioned. I sensed their anxiety and uncertainty, their buried hopes, their desire for assistance in making it to the finish line. Further, I was overwhelmed with excitement as the Lord resurrected in my mind the setting, circumstance, and dramatic conclusion of a sermon I preached many years ago. Its title: “Coming in On Broken Pieces.”

Now that the book is finished, McClure’s excitement is clear. “It’s based on sermons I’ve given over the past thirty-seven years. I’ve shown people the manuscript, and they’re just so excited about it, they can’t wait to get ahold of it.”

Ongoing Ministry

As excited as McClure is about his writing, this is only the latest in his life of ministry. During his twenty-seven years as senior pastor at Pleasant Street Baptist Church, he and his congregation kept a full food pantry to serve those who needed it. He also provided counseling until he retired in 2013. He founded Share the Vision Ministries in 1989, in order to equip churches with Christian Education resources. In 1994, he cofounded North End Crime Watch and Community Development, which is credited with helping reduce crime in that area of Westerly, Rhode Island. The list of his contributions to the local community and broader Christian community goes on.

Today, he continues to serve in other ways. He is the board director at Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center, which provides a huge food panty, a full senior center, senior transportation, and more to the surrounding communities. And every Sunday morning, his radio show “Living Faith for Today” comes on 1230 WBLQ in Westerly. Through this, he gives a sermon, with the goal to teach “how to live out your faith, every single day of the year, every day of the week.”

But if you ask McClure about the ministry he’s most passionate about? “Right now, I’m most passionate about my writing because I just feel that God has given me a message, and I need to get it out. Because I’m not as active as I used to be . . . so I certainly can write and get this message out. Believe me, everything that I write, I’m excited about because it comes from [God]. Right now, I’m beginning to write my memoir, and I’m just excited about writing it. I think people wouldn’t believe the things I’ve experienced, that God has done over the years. Miracles.” He talks about the vision he saw in 1976 that led him to ministry and adds, “I still see them to this day. It’s never left me.”

And so McClure continues to minister and to write as he’s called. On Broken Pieces comes out this month, to be followed by Standing on Holy Ground by the end of 2017. His past writings include Can These Bones Live? (December 2006), Almost Persuaded, Now to Believe (April 2008), The Crimson Thread of the Bible (October 2011), Who Do You Say I Am? (February 2013), and Made for Glory: In the Image and Likeness of God (November 2016; finalist in the 2017 International Book Awards). To learn more about McClure and his ministries, be sure to check out his website,